The Ford On Film Awards 2017: Best Scene
Day five of the Ford On Film Awards 2017, and it is time for our last film prize before we move on to television. Today, I’m picking the Best Scene of 2017. Each year, the best scene award is brutally competitive, with my favourite films often clashing with rank outsiders that feature at least one all time classic scene. Last year’s winner was Arrival’s ‘First Contact’ scene, a blinding moment from a blinding film, but 2015’s winner was Pheonix, a solid World War II film with one of the best endings of all time.
In this list, you’ll find creepy monologues, superb musical moments, nerve-shredding tension, and an opening scene so good, it made the rest of the film look tame by comparison. Here are the ten most memorable scenes of 2017:
*WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD*
Bradley gets a visitor – Brawl in Cell Block 99
If you need someone to deliver a chilling monologue, Udo Kier is always a solid choice. Kier only appears for a few minutes, telling Vince Vaughn that he must get sent to a maximum security prison or face something horrible happening to his unborn daughter, but his short speech stays with you long after Brawl in Cell Block 99 ends.
No More Catholics – T2 Trainspotting
Danny Boyle’s long awaited follow-up to the best film of all time came and went with relatively-little fanfare, but there were pleasures to be had even if it didn’t quite live up to the hype. This scene, in which a reunited Renton and Sick Boy improvise an inflammatory song to appease a Protestant club, came the closest to capturing the old magic of the first film.
Oliver’s dance – Call Me By Your Name
With Ralph Fiennes’ manic dance to the Rolling Stones in A Bigger Splash and Armie Hammer’s grooving in Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino is officially the greatest director of dance sequences working today.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – Logan Lucky
Steven Soderbergh’s NASCAR heist film Logan Lucky was very enjoyable, but it never quite kicked into higher gear. It came close, however, during this unexpectedly moving scene in the middle of the film, when Channing Tatum’s daughter surprises him with a rendition of his favourite song.
Family get-together – Get Out
The first half of Jordan Peele’s Get Out is more biting satire than all-out horror, and no moment is more uncomfortably familiar than the scene where African-American Chris is introduced to his white girlfriend’s friends and family, who each commit a faux pas more painful than the last. Peele gets plenty of laughs, but each joke packs a hell of a punch.
I Get Overwhelmed – A Ghost Story
It’s hard to remember the last film that allowed a song to play in its entirety, but David Lowery uses Dark Rooms’ ‘I Get Overwhelmed’ to take centre stage in his slow, eerie A Ghost Story. As Rooney Mara listens to the music her recently-deceased husband recorded before his death, Lowery flashes back and forth to show the colourful life they used to have and the cold, grey existence she now lives. The effect is heartbreaking.
Deckard and K fight – Blade Runner 2049
The long-awaited follow-up to 1982 classic Blade Runner featured plenty of memorable moments that could have been included in this list, such as Agent K’s brutal fist fight with outlaw Sapper Morton or his haunting encounter with a prostitute, but ultimately it was the moment in which K fights the returning Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) that really stuck out. Denis Villeneuve hasn’t shot many fight sequences, but using the bare illumination of old holograms and Roger Deakins’ gorgeous cinematography, he crafts the brawl of the year.
Bobby drops the paint – The Florida Project
Willem Dafoe’s motel manager Bobby is one of the nicest characters you could imagine, but this small moment in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, in which he becomes distracted from his work by a potential paedophile hanging around the motel, shows how quickly he can switch. Immediately taking control of the situation, Bobby turns into a lion defending his cubs and threatens the man away. It’s an incredibly convincing performance from Dafoe, and the darkness of the scene proves how well Baker manages the tone of his film.
Making a choice – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
The darkest comedy of 2017 and a film that many failed to see the funny side of, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer spends its two hour running time building up to this moment, where Colin Farrell’s meek Steven chooses which of his family must die to appease creepy teenager Martin. How does Steven make the decision? The answer is perhaps the most shocking and bleakly funny ending in years.
Bellbottoms – Baby Driver
Sadly, Edgar Wright’s long-awaited Baby Driver was my biggest disappointment of 2017, yet it still contained at least one classic scene. As Baby sits in his car, jamming to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s ‘Bellbottoms’, Wright sets us up for a laidback comedy, but then the bank robbery happens and the scene quickly morphs into an outstandingly smooth car chase – the vehicular mayhem in years. It showcases some of Wright’s finest direction ever, and if I wasn’t a big fan of the rest of Baby Driver, it’s only because this opening sequence raised the bar so high.
Congratulations to Edgar Wright and Baby Driver, a deserving winner of Best Scene. That’s pretty much it for the film section of the year end awards. Tomorrow, I’m going to be ranking my ten favourite TV shows of 2017. See you then!
By Harry J. Ford
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